Every time you think of a hamster the first image that comes to mind is that of him running on the wheel. This tool is a must-have accessory to be placed in his cage. But why do hamsters love running so much?
The hamster wheel: what is it for?
The hamster is a small rodent that spends half of his day snoring and the other half playing. When the sun goes down, he gets active and starts doing all kinds of activities … his favorite? Run on the wheel! This comes from his ancestors, who spent their time running away from predators and transformed them into restless and even a little nervous beings.
The wheel is a real relief valve for this little animal, it helps him to calm down and find a psychophysical balance. By running on the wheel, the hamster can travel several kilometers in a single night, so it also acts as a gym and allows the rodent to always keep fit, keeping muscles and joints toned, as well as his heart and other vital organs.
The lack of the right tools in its habitat – such as the wheel – can cause major health problems for the hamster: it can undergo a kind of depression, which leads it to hole up in a corner of the cage and fill up with food with consequent risk of obesity.
What is the best wheel to put in the hamster cage?
Although the noise caused by the hamster wheel can sometimes become annoying, this activity is essential for the health of the little animal. What are the characteristics of a perfect wheel?
When you are about to buy a wheel to insert in the cage, always pay attention to some details:
– it is preferable to choose a closed and plastic model, because it is the safest, cheapest and most practical to clean;
– the plastic, however, must not be too thin, because the hamster could bite and destroy it within a few days;
– the spokes must not be too close, so that the animal, running, does not get stuck.
These attentions should be taken in particular when the hamster is small: as a puppy its legs are more fragile, then as they grow they become less delicate and therefore they adapt more easily to all types of wheels that exist on the market.
A little tip: if the classic plastic wheel starts to creak, pass a piece of cotton soaked in olive oil through the gears!